Northern African countries are key suppliers of natural resources to the global economy, from large- scale oil and gas extraction in Algeria and Tunisia, to phosphate mining in Tunisia and Morocco, to water-intensive agribusiness paired with tourism in Morocco and Tunisia. The commodification of nature and privatisation of resources entailed in these projects has led to serious environmental damages, and forced these countries into a subservient position in the global economy, sustaining and deepening global inequalities.
So it seems that for once everyone agrees on something: the UN climate summit in Copenhagen was a spectacular failure. That is quite an achievement in itself, since consensus seems a rarity in these times.
This public event will highlight the risks that provisions negotiated as part of trade agreements – such as ISDS – can pose for governments’ ability to regulate to protect the environment and act on climate change.
Book review by Robert J. Burrowes of The Secure and the Dispossesed: How the Military and Corporations are Shaping a Climate-Changed World. The book is edited by Nick Buxton and Ben Hayes, who are both associated with TNI.
When citizens are left out of debates confined to government and the business community, the only means of influencing policy is to petition, protest, or litigate, usually after the horse has bolted. Will fracking be the latest technology introduced without any public debate?